Romeo y Julieta (cigar brand)

Romeo y Julieta is the name of two brands of premium cigar, one produced on the island of Cuba for Habanos SA, the Cuban state-owned tobacco company, and the other produced in La Romana, Dominican Republic for Altadis SA.

History

The Romeo y Julieta marque was established in 1875 by Inocencio Alvarez and Mannin Garcia. The brand is named for the Shakespeare tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.

Between 1885 and 1900, the brand won numerous awards at different tasting exhibitions (as still evidenced by the gold medals on the brand's logo). However, the brand truly bloomed after it was acquired by Jose "Pepin" Rodriguez Fernandez, former head of the Cabañas factory in Havana, and his firm, Rodríguez, Argüelles y Cia, in 1903. Being a very cosmopolitan man, Rodriguez constantly travelled across Europe and the Americas, actively promoting his brand, and entering his horse, the aptly named "Julieta", in racing events across the world.As a result of his salesmanship, the brand became exceptionally popular around the world among wealthy customers, many of whom demanded personalized bands for their cigars. At its height, as many as 2000 personalized cigar bands were produced for customers. The brand was also known at this time for specializing in "figurado" cigars, such as perfectos and pirámides, with over a thousand such shapes believed to have been in production.

Sir Winston Churchill was perhaps the brand's most famous devotee. The flagship "vitola" of the brand is named in his honor, a long 7" by 47 ring gauge cigar known as the Churchill. Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first woman to serve as governor of a state in the U.S., also frequently smoked them.

After Rodriguez's death in 1954 (he was 88 years old), the revolution, and the subsequent nationalization of the tobacco industry, the brand was moved to La Romana in the Dominican Republic, where production of a Romeo y Julieta cigar for the American market continues today under the direction of Altadis SA. The Cuban government nationalized the brand and still produces and distributes it world-wide as one of its top-selling global brands.

In 2006, a new addition was made to the regular Romeo y Julieta lineup. The Short Churchill size, a Robusto, was introduced at the 8th Annual Habanos Festival in Havana, Cuba in 2006.

Romeo y Julieta also produces three machine-made cigarillos: minis, clubs and puritos

"Vitolas" in the Romeo y Julieta Line

The following list of the Romeo y Julieta marque includes the size in inches and ring gauge (multiples of 1⁄64 inch) with metric in parenthesis. Also, the "vitola de galera" or factory name of that size is included along with its popular size name in American cigar vocabulary.

"Hand-Made Vitolas"
* Churchill - 7" x 47 (178 x 18.7 mm) Julieta, a churchill
* Belicoso - 5½" x 52 (140 x 20.6 mm) Campana, a belicoso
* Short Churchill - 4⅞" x 50 (124 x 19.8 mm) Robusto, a robusto or rothschild
* Exhibición No. 3 - 5⅝" x 46 (143 x 18.3 mm) Corona Gorda, a toro
* Exhibición No. 4 - 5" x 48 (127 x 19.1 mm) Hermoso No. 4, a robusto or rothschild
* Cazador - 6⅜" x 44 (162 x 17.5 mm) Cazador, a lonsdale
* Corona - 5⅝" x 42 (142 x 16.7 mm) Corona, a corona
* Petit Corona - 5⅛" x 42 (129 x 16.7 mm) Mareva, a petit corona
* Très Petit Corona - 4½" x 40 (116 x 15.9 mm) Franciscano, a tres petit corona
* Petit Julieta - 3⅞" x 30 (100 x 11.9 mm) Entreacto, a small panetela
* Cedro de Luxe No. 1 - 6½" x 42 (165 x 16.7 mm) Cervantes, a lonsdale
* Cedro de Luxe No. 2 - 5⅝" x 42 (142 x 16.7 mm) Corona, a corona
* Cedro de Luxe No. 3 - (129 x 16.7 mm) Mareva, a petit corona"Machine-Made and Hand-Finish Vitolas"
* Romeo No. 1 - 5½" x 40 (140 x 15.9 mm) Crema, a corona
* Romeo No. 2 - 5⅛" x 42 (129 x 16.7 mm) Petit Corona, a petit corona
* Romeo No. 3 - 4⅝" x 40 (117 x 15.9 mm) Coronita, a petit corona
* Mille Fleur - 5⅛" x 42 (129 x 16.7 mm) Petit Corona, a petit corona
* Coronita en Cedro - 5⅛" x 40 (129 x 15.9 mm) Petit Cetro, a petit corona
* Belvedere - 4⅞" x 39 (125 x 15.5 mm) Belvedere, a petit corona
* Regalía de Londres - 4⅝" x 40 (117 x 15.9 mm) Coronita, a petit corona
* Sport Largo - 4⅝" x 35 (117 x 13.9 mm) Sport, a small panetela
* Petit Princess - 4⅜" x 35 (110 x 13.9 mm) Epicure, a tres petit corona"Edición Limitada Releases"
* Exhibición No. 2 (2000) - 7⅝" x 49 (194 x 19.4 mm) Prominente, a double corona
* Robusto (2001) - 4⅞" x 50 (124 x 19.8 mm) Robusto, a robusto or rothschild
* Hermoso No. 1 (2003) - 6½" x 48 (165 x 19.1 mm) Super Hermoso, a large toro
* Hermoso No. 2 (2004) - 6⅛" x 48 (157 x 19.1) Hermoso No. 2, a double robusto
* Petit Pirámide (2005) - 5 x 50 (127 x 19.8 mm) Petit Pirámide, a petit belicoso

References

* Nee, Min Ron - "An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars" (2003, Reprinted: 2005), ISBN 3-9809308-2-3

See also

* Cigar brands
* Romeo y Julieta (cigarette)

External links

* [http://www.habanos.com Official website of Habanos S.A.]
* [http://www.cubancigars.net.au Cuban cigars and Romeo y Julieta reviews]
* [http://www.cigars-review.org/cigars/Romeo-y-Julieta.htm Romeo y Julieta Cigars Reviews]
* [http://www.aristoncubancigars.com Authorized retailer]


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